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Leadman Tri Tempe will take place this Sunday, April 13. Preview the course here.
Leadman Tri offers unique race distances that are a refreshing change from standard triathlons—if you’re a strong swimmer or cyclist, you’ll be rewarded with proportionally longer legs and, unless you’ve done the same race before, you don’t have to worry about setting PRs. The marquee 125K event in Tempe, which is made up of a 2.5K swim, 109.5K bike and 13K trail run, is complemented by international- and sprint-distance options.
Just like the Ironman Arizona course, the Leadman 125 starts off with a 2.5K (1.5-mile) swim in Tempe Town Lake. Unless high winds are prevalent, you can expect a fast, calm swim in waters ranging from the low 60s to low 70s on race day. Note that you can’t swim in the lake prior to race day.
The 109.5K (68-mile) bike course includes four loops, which means a lot of turning. Practice your 180-degree turns during training rides so you’re prepared to corner safely and regain momentum as quickly as possible. The course is extremely flat. Expect some fast moments in the aerobars.
Warning: Be cautious when the shorter-distance athletes enter the course as the road can become crowded.
The 13K (8.1- mile) run is a highlight of the course, as you run along a canal and through Papago Park on a mix of challenging trails and mixed-use paths around Tempe Town Lake. The run is very exposed, so remember sunscreen and a hat!
Weather report: Tempe typically experiences highs in the mid-80s in April, so you can expect a dry, warm-weather race.
Best for: Strong cyclists looking for a bike-focused race. It also serves as good early-season practice for athletes doing Ironman Arizona in the fall, as much of the race takes place on the same course.
Relay option: You can also enter as a two- or three- person team.
Raced it: “Leadman Tempe was a good early-season barometer in preparation for longer races ahead. The bike course was physically challenging with the late addition of many U-turns, but mentally easy with the constant need for navigation. I wish I had done more reconnaissance of the run course, as it was much hillier and had more trail than I expected. The flat out-and-back section along the reservoir was hard! It was a tough, and hot, but also a really fun run.” –Age-group athlete Anabel Capalbo
Learn more: Leadmantri.com